Football

Casillas out of new Spain squad

New Spain coach Julen Lopetegui yesterday left out 35-year-old captain Iker Casillas, the country's most-capped player, from his first squad for upcoming internationals against Belgium and Liechtenstein.

"Iker is an absolute reference for the squad, a true icon yesterday, today and, I hope, tomorrow for Spanish football," said Lopetegui, who took over from Vicente del Bosque last month.

"But we decided that our first-choice goalkeeper will be David de Gea. In any case, we are not closing the door (on Casillas) and will continue to track his performance, but we have decided not to include him in this list."

Spain take on Belgium in a friendly in Brussels next Thursday, which is Lopetegui's first game in charge and, four days later, host Liechtenstein at home in Leon in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier. - AFP.

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